Athens, GA – 240 Men’s and Women’s basketball coaches are wearing blue Autism Speaks Puzzle Pieces to help raise awareness and funds for Autism Speaks research and advocacy programs. The goal is to raise exactly $6,800 per participating school to symbolize the fact that 1 out of every 68 children are on the autism spectrum.
The idea, called Coaches Powering Forward, was inspired by Georgia Tech men’s basketball assistant Tom Herrion and Towson head coach Pat Skerry who both have sons with autism. Skerry and Herrion, often described to be as close as Harry and Lloyd from “Dumb and Dumber,” started the campaign last year.
“We individually contacted each of the head coaches, basically 40 each, and asked them if they would be willing to wear the pin,” Herrion told news outlet Online Athens. “That was our way, as simple as it sounds, to kind of start the project.” It didn’t take long for the other coaches to say yes.
University of Georgia’s Mark Fox told Online Athens
“When you have a chance to help others, I believe that you should. By wearing the pin, I hope to bring attention to the cause of Autism awareness and in some small way, help others.”
He sported the pin on his jacket during his team’s home game against Tennessee that was broadcast on ESPN2.
Other universities who pinned themselves to the cause are Georgia, Georgia Tech, Georgia State and Georgia Southern.
Contributed by Audrey L. Hollingshread.